No. 3 Duke tramples Georgia Tech
By JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer
DURHAM, N.C. — Seth Curry scored 24 points to lead No. 3 Duke past Georgia Tech 73-57 on Thursday night.
Mason Plumlee added 16 points and 13 rebounds after going just 2 for 12 during an awful first half, and the Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 53 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes to bounce back from their only loss.
Freshman Chris Bolden’s 20 points were the most scored by a Georgia Tech player this season.
But the Yellow Jackets (10-6, 0-4) had 21 turnovers in losing their fourth straight, remaining the only team winless in ACC play and falling to 5-32 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon broke out of a slump with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting after coming off the bench for the first time in his Duke career.
He was a combined 7 for 32 in his previous four games and missed all 10 of his shots in the 84-76 loss to then-No. 20 North Carolina State that knocked the Ryan Kelly-less Blue Devils from No. 1.
A second straight loss looked like a real possibility until Duke produced a 27-6 run that started late in the first half, ended early in the second and put them in control.
Curry — who has scored at least 22 points in three of his last four games — had 11 points during the burst. He ended the Blue Devils’ 5-minute field goal drought by swishing a deep 3-pointer that started the run with 2 minutes left in the half.
Then, he added two more 3s shortly after halftime before his putback of a miss by Plumlee put Duke up 46-32 with just under 15 minutes to play.
That came two possessions after the most memorable snapshot of the night: After Plumlee got Cameron rocking with a dunk with 14 minutes left and Georgia Tech called a timeout, a fired-up coach Mike Krzyzewski charged off the bench to jump on and embrace his senior center.
Tech cut the Duke lead to 10 points twice, the final time coming when Mfon Udofia’s three-point play with 6:48 left made it 57-47. Sulaimon countered with a three-point play 39 seconds later, Curry hit another 3 and Sulaimon followed with a dunk to make it 65-49 with just under 5 minutes to go.
The Blue Devils played their second straight game without Kelly, a captain who was on the bench in street clothes using crutches, his injured right foot in a boot.
They ended a streak that dated to the 2012 postseason, having lost their previous three games without the 6-foot-11 senior whose outside touch commands opponents’ attention and respect.
With Duke still learning to play without him, Georgia Tech led for all but about a minute of the half and four times pushed its lead to seven points while clamping down on Plumlee and the Blue Devils in the opening 20 minutes.
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